• synonyms


noun, plural hares, (especially collectively) hare.
  1. any rodentlike mammal of the genus Lepus, of the family Leporidae, having long ears, a divided upper lip, and long hind limbs adapted for leaping.
  2. any of the larger species of this genus, as distinguished from certain of the smaller ones known as rabbits.
  3. any of various similar animals of the same family.
  4. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Lepus.
  5. the player pursued in the game of hare and hounds.
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verb (used without object), hared, har·ing.
  1. Chiefly British. to run fast.
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Origin of hare

before 900; Middle English; Old English hara; cognate with Danish hare; akin to German Hase hare, Old English hasu gray
Related formshare·like, adjective
Can be confusedhair hare
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for hared


  1. Sir David. born 1947, British dramatist and theatre director: his plays include Plenty (1978), Pravda (with Howard Brenton, 1985), The Secret Rapture (1989), Racing Demon (1990), The Permanent Way (2003), and Stuff Happens (2004)
  2. William. 19th century, Irish murderer and bodysnatcher: associate of William Burke
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  1. a member of a Dene Native Canadian people of northern Canada
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Word Origin for Hare

of Athapascan origin


noun plural hares or hare
  1. any solitary leporid mammal of the genus Lepus, such as L. europaeus (European hare). Hares are larger than rabbits, having longer ears and legs, and live in shallow nests (forms)Related adjective: leporine
  2. make a hare of someone Irish informal to defeat someone completely
  3. run with the hare and hunt with the hounds to be on good terms with both sides
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  1. (intr; often foll by off, after, etc) British informal to go or run fast or wildly
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Derived Formsharelike, adjective

Word Origin for hare

Old English hara; related to Old Norse heri, Old High German haso, Swedish hare, Sanskrit śaśá
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hared



"to harry, harass," 1520s; meaning "to frighten" is 1650s; of uncertain origin; connections have been suggested to harry (v.) and to hare (n.). Related: Hared; haring.

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Old English hara "hare," from West Germanic *hasan- (cf. Old Frisian hasa, Middle Dutch haese, Dutch haas, Old High German haso, German Hase), possibly with a sense of "gray" (cf. Old English hasu, Old High German hasan "gray"), from PIE *kas- "gray" (cf. Latin canus "white, gray, gray-haired"). Perhaps cognate with Sanskrit sasah, Afghan soe, Welsh ceinach "hare." Rabbits burrow in the ground; hares do not. Hare-lip is from 1560s.

þou hast a crokyd tunge heldyng wyth hownd and wyth hare. ["Jacob's Well," c.1440]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hared


see mad as a hatter (March hare); run with (the hare).

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.